Our day of sightseeing started with a quick walk though Citywalk, which is the uber-touristy promenade that surrounds Universal Studios. We got there early, so it was pretty empty and most everything was closed.
That didn't stop us from a couple of photo ops. After all, how often are you in the self-proclaimed "Entertainment Capital of L.A."?
This is Ben & Jerry's, L.A. style!
Had to chuckle here... In Citywalk, it snows exactly four times a day! How Hollywood.
We hopped an Uber cab and landed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are hundreds of stars and the place was not the cleanest, most savory part of town. In fact, after a few minutes of walking, you kind of stop noticing the names and realizing that it might actually NOT be the coolest thing to have bus loads of tourists trudging over your name for all of eternity. But still, I grabbed a couple snaps of the folks that would mean the most to my students (below) and a handful of completely weird ones that would reveal too many of my family's inside jokes to be of any value to you that I won't post.
There was a protest outside the Chinese Theatre, so it didn't have the glitz and glam buzz that I was expecting (maybe it never does?). There was, however, a fella dressed as Spider-Man, one as Superman, and one as C3-PO kind of milling around. Some folks will do anything for a SAG card, I guess.
We walked down from Hollywood Boulevard to the Hollywood Farmers Market, which is one of the biggest I've seen. It was like a grocery store with live music and the hipster quotient was high. After poking around for a few blocks, we got down to Sunset Boulevard and decided to walk to our next destination by way of Santa Monica Boulevard. It turned into a pretty long walk, and perhaps not very deserving of a mention in Sheryl Crow's songbook, so we hailed an Uber. God, I love that ride system. Come on Burlington, let's get with the program. We were headed to The Grove, a pedestrian shopping street. In the car, we got our first real shot of the Hollywood sign. What's funny is that, first you never see it, then once you do, it's there all of the time!
The Grove was fun. There were lots of stores that we don't have in Vermont and it was nice to just stroll around. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, though you could tell the natives by their UGG boots and parkas. I got some schmancy stuff from Kiehl's (another lifelong dream) and was amused that they charged me for a bag. I had to pay to do their advertising and you bet I did it! How's that for a marketing strategy?
I didn't take any pictures of our time on Rodeo Drive because I didn't want to give away that we were tourists, natch. I mean, you don't take pictures of your hometown, am I right? The street lights were chandeliers, I'm not even kidding. And the stores! We're talking Van Cleef & Arpels, my friends. The big leagues. There was a very serious guy with a clipboard outside of Cartier making sure that all of the display jewels in the street-side glass cases were still there. What a gig. I wonder how often he has to check them?
We saw Miss Universe and her entourage. She looked like a Barbie, but I'm sure she's quite pleasant. Andy kept daring me to go into stores, but I was like, "Listen, I don't need anything from Badgely Mischka today, okay? Let me be!" We had lunch at a very unassuming deli in the 90210 called Walter's. We couldn't keep looking for The Peach Pit, so we had to settle. Lucky for us, the food was yummy but still, by then, we were just about ready to tap out.
Our last Uber driver of the day was a really groovy fella who knew a lot about the city's history and drove us home by way of the Hancock Park area, where some of L.A.'s oldest and most beautiful homes are. The architecture was really lovely and it was nice to see the places where people actually live. I mean, not like I'm not used to seeing palatial estates, like every single day or anything. Whatever.
So, it's about 20 after three and I have been up since 4am. I really hope the jet lag gets on out of here before I head over to see Mr. Trebek in the morning. I'm going to catch a nap before we figure out our dinner plans. Take it away, Eight Lane Symphony...